Surprise Rumbling Box





Introduction: Surprise Rumbling Box

About: I absolutely love doing anything related to electronics, computers, and software. I can often be found working on projects for several hours at a time! I also love robots, sci-fi, and EDM music. I am amazed ...

Hey, guys! And Girls. The holiday season is all about giving, right? Well, how about giving a gift you can enjoy, too. This instructable will show you how to make a rumbling box to give people a jump. And when there curiosity isn't satisfied, they look in and a camera takes a picture of them. How fun is that? Please Comment! Ok, here's what you'll need:

Shown: a small box, hot glue gun, brad fasteners, thin foam, some popscicle-type sticks, a standard 1.5 volt motor, 16 wires, aluminum foil, a half of an eraser, a double AA battery, and the camera part of a disposable camera.
Not shown: tape, electrical tape, scissors, and wrapping paper.
IMPORTANT: Many of the image notes are important, so look at them all.

Step 1: Step 1

This is fairly easy. Just insert 2 brad fasteners on each side of your box. You should have 8 total.

Step 2: Step 2

Strip the ends of 8 wires, and twist them together into 2 groups of 4. A couple of mine have matal tab ends.

Step 3: Step 3

Stick the top left corner of your eraser at about a 75 degree angle on the shaft of the motor.

Step 4: Step 4

Here's where it starts getting tricky. Hot glue (or solder if you have one) the wires on the metal nubs of the motor. (see pic.). EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Make sure there is enough wire to wrap around the little nub, otherwise, the wire WILL NOT make contact.

Step 5: Step 5

Take your popscicle sticks (mine aren't) and cut them down to size to fit comfortably in the box. (see pic.)

Step 6: Step 6

Using LOTS of hot glue I secured the motor inside on the two "popscicle" sticks and used the ends I cut off to further stabalize it.

Step 7: Step 7

Put some strong string on the mechanism of the camera that takes the shot, and wind it to prep it. Ignore the string now, it won't be needed until later. Pay very close attention to this next part. Take the wires in the back nub of the motor (from the view of the camera) and attatch 3 to the brads on the left. Do the same on the right.IMPORTANT: Scroll over the picture to see which wires get attatched where. The remaining two wires connect to opposite sides on to the remaining brads. Since the back nub went to the left brads, the remaining wire on the back nub would go to the brad on the right. And vice versa.

Step 8: Step 8

Now twist 4 more wires into groups of 2.

Step 9: Step 9

Attatch the wires to the battery securely with electrical tape, or hot glue.

Step 10: Step 10

I know I've said a lot of stuff is important, but a lot of stuff is important in this project. Anyway, this step is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Do the same exact thing you did with the motor only instead of connecting to another brad, the wire for the second brad goes out through a small hole you punch, next to a brad. But, only push the wire out far enough for the little copper end to stick out. Then hot glue it like that. Only, be careful how you hook up your wires. Say you hooked everything up and then it didn't work. You would have the ends of the battery switched and would have to do all that wiring over again. So, check which way you arrange the wires before you attatch them. To further clear this up, do this. Hold the battery, and on the outside of the box touch one end of one side to a brad, and the other to the other brad. If the motor spins glue it that way on the inside. If not, switch the wires and it should work that way. Then hot glue this on the inside, and test the brads from the inside.

Step 11: Step 11

Now cut a small piece of aluminum foil and put it flat against each copper part of a wire next to a brad. Tape it on. Make sure it doesn't come in contact with the brad. (see pic.)

Step 12: Step 12

Punch a small hole in the top of the box. Then extend the string for the camera and tie it in the hole. Make sure its short enough so when the box is opened it takes a picture. Sorry the pic. is sideways.

Step 13: Step 13

Remember that foam? Cut and glue a small rectangle and put it on the opposite side of the brad and aluminum foil. Then glue the foil to the foam, extending it over the brad, and being careful not to make contact. The original design I had called for the extra brads, but I guess they just helped to connect wires, so don't be alarmed when they weren't used.

Step 14: Step 14

Hooray! You've done it! Now is the fun part: wrapping! When wrapping don't make the paper to snug, otherwise the wires will make contact, and it won't be much of a surprise. Now go enjoy your wonderful box! And make sure to get that picture developed!

Homemade Holidays Contest

Runner Up in the
Homemade Holidays Contest



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    24 Discussions

    Totally YES! I'm voting for you when the voting's on! 5 Star!
    Great Instructable!

    -~- ZaderMan

    Thanks so much! And not just you, everybody who supports me. See I'm not the most popular at school, and to see that so many people actually like my projects is a really great feeling. Thanks again!

    In my experience the unpopular kids in high school make $80,000.00 + a year when they grow up and all the cool jocks work at coffee shops and shoe stores for the rest of their lives.  Hang in there!

    Boy ain't that the truth ! But ya know there are sometimes when a guy is unpopular he still does not make it because even his parents don't support his ideas. ie; no school~no success. I know a guy that was not encouraged by his parents and he ended up dieing young.
    Nerds Rule !

    Thanks. I guess since I want to be an engineer when I'm older might pay off for being unpopular.

    Just finished the rough box. (still have to wrap it to make it look pretty).  I did not include the camera to save time but I took the "switch" a little further.  I made a foam core box, then covered it with spray adhesive and squeegeed on tin foil.  Using shish-ka-bob sticks taped in place around the edges created an insulating standoff.  Next I made a cardboard shell with tin foil adhered to the inside and fit it over top of the box.  When everything is taped together, there is about a 1.5mm gap and a touch from any side triggers the motor.

    What a fun build and even though I am entering a different instructable of my own in the contest. You will get a vote from me.  Thanks!


    Wow! I didn't think any one would actually build it! That is awesome. If you had done this for the contest I would have definetely voted for you!

     So... the wires from the motor go to the metal pins and the wires from the battery go out a small hole next to the pin head. then the foil acts like a switch joining the bare ended wire to the pin head when pressed through the wrapping paper?

    1 reply

    Yes. I'm glad some body understood it. I was afraid it was just a bunch of words no one would get.

     I made one of these when i was 11 and gave it to my dad. lol.

    I was once 'caught' by picking up a toy in a store that began to vibrate.  My reaction kept my partner in stitches for quite a while.  Anyone willing to go through the work of building one of these will be amply rewarded.... :-)

    so do the wires from the batter get attached to the same brad configuration as the motor and in the same way and then the 2 extra wires go out though the box side? am i correct?

    4 replies

    Sort of. You connect the wires to one brad on each side and the extra four go out the side. I know, its confusing, but its the best way I could put it in words.

    so out of the 8 total wires from the battery two atach to brads on each side and the rest of the wires go through the side of the box? i am confusing myself :(

    Ok, here it is real simple.On one side, one wire ataches to a brad, and the other goes outside. Do the same for the other sides. Got it?

    so for the hassle i get it know i was just being stupid and didn't read the step good enough i get it now.